Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Clinton versus Reagan, Rick Perry's letter, North Korea's World Cup chances:

Hillary Clinton signs copies of her new book on July 3, 2014 in London, England.
Hillary Clinton signs copies of her new book on July 3, 2014 in London, England.

It’s possible, just possible, that Hillary Clinton could find herself squaring off against Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry in the 2016 presidential contest.

Too early to even suggest such a thing, you say? Perhaps. But just in case PolitiFact Oregon is ever in a situation to say, "We called that one first," we’re leading off today’s roundup with recent fact-checks of claims made by both.

Toss in claims touching on North Korea’s view of World Cup soccer, more squabbles at the border and ‘Thor, the God of Thunder,’ and you’ve got a full-blown roundup on your hands.

1. Bill Clinton 100 times more effective than Ronald Reagan? Not quite

Hillary Clinton, a front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, recently compared the eight years her husband, Bill, spent in the Oval Office, with Ronald Reagan’s two terms in the White House. At one point, she said the number of jobs created and people lifted out of poverty during Bill Clinton’s presidency was "a hundred times" what it was under President Reagan.

PolitiFact National’s check found that Clinton’s record does outpace Reagan’s on four statistical measures that were examined. But the differences are not "day and night, as her phrasing claims," the story concluded. "Both presidents saw improvements, with Clinton’s being incrementally better – not 100 times better. We rate the claim False.

2. In Texas, the case of the unanswered letter

In the Lone Star State, Gov. Rick Perry is pointing fingers at President Barack Obama, claiming a 2012 letter Perry sent to the president warning about immigration-related problems at the border was never answered.

"The day Perry sent his letter, Obama officials joined a conference call with his office about the crossings," the check found. It wasn’t clear, however, whether the call was in response to the letter or vice versa. Otherwise, no documentation was found of a formal administration reply. The claim was rated Mostly True.

3. A plurality, yes, a majority, no

Still in Texas, Democratic state Rep. Roberto Alonzo, recently claimed that Latinos now comprise the majority of Texas residents.

A check by PolitiFact Texas found that’s not the case. "Individuals who identify as Latino are close to surpassing the share of Texans solely identified as white," the story said, "but no single ethnic group makes up the majority of Texas residents." The claim was rated False.

4. Whoopi's cushion of error

Whoopi Goldberg of ABC’s The View recently weighed in on one of the more hotly contested point of modern times – whether a woman has ever wielded Thor’s hammer (the issue came up because Marvel Comics has announced that it will introduce a new God of Thunder – and she will be a woman).

Goldberg, apparently, got her talking points mixed up. Yes, this new comic offering will mark the first time a woman will be Thor, but it’s not the first time a woman has held Thor’s hammer. For the record, Storm, Rogue, DC’s Wonder Woman and Jane Foster are among the female characters who have wielded such clout. Whoopi walked away with a claim of Mostly False.

5. North Korea's not out of this tournament yet

Soccer’s World Cup is old news, right? Germany is still champion and Brazil is, well, not. That hasn’t stopped Internet bloggers from asserting that North Korea was telling its people that the national team was in the World Cup final (led by whom? Kim Jung Goal?).

Turns out the claim originated on a satirical site and that, in fact, North Korea had been broadcasting the entire competition. Those bloggers, whether they know it or not, are now the proud owners of some Flaming Trousers.

Thoughts on today’s roundup? Something we missed? Leave your comments here and let’s get the conversation started.